Every year, we team up with the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) to survey sales leaders and reps to determine their top challenges. This year, more than 300 people responded to our survey.
Training and development were the biggest thorns in the sides of sales leaders this year. Sales organizations are always making changes — switching between generalist and specialist models, applying new principles of account-based selling, handling personnel turnover, and constantly making tweaks to their processes to optimize their sales. While these changes may be necessary, they do present a hurdle when it comes to training.
Other major concerns of sales leaders were getting enough good leads and dealing with recruiting and hiring.
These concerns are nothing new for leaders. For the last few years we’ve done this survey, the top challenges have stayed the same for leaders.
Because we had seen the trend from previous years that training is a big problem, we included a question in this year’s survey that directly addressed how leaders are attempting to solve this problem.
While very few were considering hiring training firms, even fewer were considering special inside sales accreditations. Nearly half of the leaders surveyed said they planned to increase their own internal training programs.
Understandably, reps faced different challenges. Lead quantity and quality were far more important than any other challenges in the eyes of reps. A whopping 46% of reps rated this as a top challenge while only 24% of leaders saw it as a top challenge. The closest runner-up for reps was dealing with excessive rules and procedures.
Way more reps mentioned rules and procedures as an obstacle they face this year than in any previous year. It rose from No. 5 to No. 2, suggesting that it’s starting to become a bigger challenge than it used to be.
While many challenges within the inside sales industry are the same ones sales professionals have been dealing with for the last few years, the industry is still evolving and growing. Hopefully, you can identify some areas to improve in 2017.